Saturday – we woke up a little later than I’d planned – 9:20am - but the previous day had knocked us out. We walked out of the room about an hour later – showered and ready to mix it up with MMP again. I feared we’d missed breakfast – but thankfully the hotel restaurant’s breakfast buffet was still up – so, fortified with eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, coffee, and orange juice – we hit it again. I had thought about taking us to the day’s first panel – a tribute to Forrest J. Ackerman – legendary editor of Famous Monsters magazine from the 1950’s into the 1980’s – but our late breakfast precluded that.
|While I got a bite after my bite...|
|Ray stalked Gary Busey a little more...|
|I kept dropping by the Rocky Horror table...|
|...while Ray checked out the celebrities.|
Instead we went back to the convention and did more people watching and dealer room perusing. The crowd for Saturday was probably five times the crowd that was there Friday night. The joint was packed all day – you had to kind of slide through the crowd anywhere you went. A little daunting – but awesome for crowd watching! Our next event was Bruce Campbell – appearing only on Saturday with an iron clad non-negotiable schedule. Bruce was doing an hour of photo ops in front of a green screen, then a 45 minute presentation on stage, followed by three hours of autographing. His photo op and autograph were pre-sold – and sold out – but I worked with Bruce years ago and already have photos with him and autographs, so no loss there. Thankfully his chat was open to any – and our RIP tickets got us reserved seating up front in the room. We went in there about 1:40p and waited it out, again with plenty of people watching options to keep us entertained.
|Two views of the crowd on hand to see Bruce Campbell.|
Bruce had them run a lengthy (and really cool) trailer for the new Evil Dead movie before he took the stage at 2pm promptly – and as I predicted to Ray – the show was incredible. Bruce’s “persona” onstage is Ash-style smartassery to the nth degree. He chatted briefly about the new Evil Dead movie – then took questions from the audience. He gave everybody hell throughout whether for not being the person he pointed to for the next question to the questions themselves. Ray and I howled for 45 straight minutes.
|Giving a fan her money back for her least favorite of his movies. |
She said Army of Darkness. She was lucky to leave the room alive.
Bruce wrapped it up – and when he left the nearly full room emptied out by two thirds. Our next event was the Jaws panel – and I asked and found out it was in this same room. We got seats up front center for this, then held the seats and took turns running out for a quick restroom stop. The Jaws reunion consisted of Susan Backlinie – Chrissie - who swam naked in the opening moments and became the shark’s first victim; Carl Gottlieb – the film’s screenwriter - who also played the newspaper editor; Joe Alves – the film’s production designer and later director of Jaws 3-D; and Jeffrey Kramer – Deputy Hendricks, who loses his breakfast when he finds Chrissie’s remains on the shore. The panel was terrific, as these four took us on a very entertaining verbal history of the movie’s pre production, filming, and post-production, accompanied on the screen behind them with drawings and photos from Alves’ scrapbook. They were scheduled for an hour; went an hour and twenty minutes; could have obviously gone on another hour – and I wish they would and could have – it was amazing to be able to hear about this film from four of the people who were a part of it almost 40 years ago.
|Susan Backlinie, Carl Gottlieb, Joe Alves, Jeffrey Kramer|
After that panel, we were clear for about three hours, so it was back to people watching and dealer room perusing (there’s SO much stuff on sale you could spend a week and not see it all.) This time we were better prepared to get some dinner – so we chatted about taking a break and leaving the hotel for a big dinner, or grabbing something there. Thinking it over, I decided pulling the car out of its nestled spot, fighting traffic, finding parking, eating, paying, fighting traffic, and finding a new parking space at the hotel would be WAY too time consuming – so we went ahead and ate the buffet dinner at the hotel bar. It was fine – food was good, all you could eat. We wrapped up dinner in a third of the time it would have taken to leave and get something – spent about the same money, and got to stay and people watch. Win Win Win.
|This young actress - Brandy Alyssa Young - is going places. I knew her when.|
After dinner we headed back to the convention area, and came in a few minutes late to the costume contest, being held in the same ballroom as the Bruce Campbell and Jaws shows. We stood off to the side in the middle and watched. They brought up the costumed folk in groups of five – then had the audience applaud for their favorite. Each winner from each group of five stayed nearby, and eventually there was a group of seven or eight finalists. There were some AMAZING costumes there. Some faves – a really good Jason ala Richard Brooker from Part 3; a zombie stormtrooper; the Grady Twins from The Shining; three Ghostbusters.
|The Grady Twins; Jason and his counselor victim; the Ghostbusters, Death trooper (zombie stormtrooper), and half|
of the long lanky Avatar alien made up this group of five. Zombie stormtrooper went on to the next round.
But the one who stood out? A really nice looking Leatherface who completely differentiated himself by NEVER BREAKING CHARACTER. EVER. When the host wanted him to introduce himself – Leatherface handed him a slip of paper – which the host read – it was the correct info for the 2003 remake version – and written entirely straight. Then when the host wanted everyone to dance all of a sudden, Leatherface sunk and whacked his head with both hands – upset – then did the pelvic saw thrust from TCM 2 – PERFECT. And the absolute topper – there was a bright spotlight at the back of the room throwing light onto the stage, and putting large shadows on the screen behind them. The host suddenly required the contestants to do some shadow puppetry. The two remaining guys actually did some pretty impressive stuff with their hands – but again, totally not in character. Leatherface grabbed the host and stood before him – he then took his chainsaw and placed it beside his head – but in the shadow version is totally looked like the saw was IN the guy’s head – Leatherface then did some good saw shaking and acting – and the host totally got into it and did a terrific shake of death – the crowd went WILD. It was so cool. And, not to surprise anyone – but Leatherface took the top prize of $500 – and deservedly so. He then stayed up near the stage and allowed the crowd to photo op with him. You don’t think I missed my shot?
After this, the next event was the Miss Horrorlina (Carolina plus Horror) contest for the same room. For this one Ray and I got seats up front. It was a raucous event, with most of the women in very little clothing as they were introduced. Tats and piercings abounded – and the crowd was eating it up. I had hoped for some of the celebs to be the judges – but where I wanted guys like Tyler Mane, David Naughton, and Kane Hodder – we got the convention’s magician, somebody’s girlfriend, and Ogre – a celeb I only know from appearing in 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams. They were pretty disengaged – with supposedly edgy questions that were in fact fairly silly (“Your favorite Sesame Street character?” “If you ate hot dogs and drank purple Kool-Aid, then jumped on the bed, what would happen?”) so they added little to the proceedings.
But the girls more than made up for it with scads of attitude and some of the funniest “talents” I’ve ever seen. Among the talents – shotgunning a beer; complimenting people; making a sandwich; singing; go-go dancing; and the showstopper – pulling off the electrical tape that made up her costume from one boob, then reapplying it in a new pattern. The show went R rated when that nipple hit air – and the crowd again ate it up with a spoon. This was taken even further when three additional contestants joined late in the pageant – they had been performing in the haunted mill attraction – and it was three young women in panties and body paint only – ARROOOOOOOO!!!!!
I did not pick the winner – the one who did win was cute but one of the least edgy in the group, so I never would have suspected she was going to take the crown.
|The four finalists. The winner was the young lady on the far left in the skeleton teddy.|
After the pageant we went for a beer at the bar and said hey to Crystal – who, by the way, was pulling major hours for this event – she was coming in mid morning and working until the wee hours in two different bars in the hotel – and she was just as sweet and funny at 2 am as she was at noon. Awesome woman. Thankfully she agreed to a photo op - one of my fave pics from the event, actually.
Then we decided to check out the haunted mill – which was really a small bit of spook house – made R rated by the inclusion of the three girls in body paint. But worth a few minutes walk through and all in good fun.
The show officially closed down around 10 or 11 – but the parties and fun and chatting and people watching went on almost until the sun came up.
So we moved in to Sunday with an earlier wakeup – we needed to get ready, eat breakfast, and move out of the room and check out of the room by around 11 am before moving on to the third and last day of the convention. So, running on the fumes of about 4 hours sleep we plunged in to the day with bellies full of the breakfast buffet again. This time I had the plan of getting the last autographs I wanted – and then I hoped to score some special video. This was also my day to pick up whatever dealer room items I could afford with my dwindling cash supply. The crowds had shrunk back to less than what had been there Friday night – which made the autograph procurement and video requests were much easier. As I made my pitch for the video clip – I realized later I didn’t explain the central conceit of the blog – that “Let’s Get Out of Here!” is spoken in nearly every movie – to anyone except one celeb – who threw back their head and laughed at the explanation. Wish I’d thought to share it with all of them! I only got turned down by one celeb – but that wasn’t unexpected either.
Sunday was also the day the convention gave us our “swag bag” – a collection of freebies given the RIP guests. I had no idea what to expect - but wow! What a haul! Posters; two t-shirts; a pint glass with the convention mascot on it; and copies of the three issues of Mad Monster Magazine! Awesome!
|The Bloke - from Bloke's Tomb of Terror comics.|
|One last pass at the Rocky Horror table!|
In the dealer room I picked up a couple of DVDs, and a special item – there was a shelf full of figures I’d been eyeing since first seeing them – small sculpted and cast figures about five or six inches tall – all representing characters from horror and sci-fi – done in a stylized, slightly cartoony style and amazingly cool. I had to have one – but my limited funds kept some of the more desirable figures (Ash from Army of Darkness, Dr. Herbert West) out of my price range. But I could afford one – the monster from the second Kolchak TV movie – Dr. Richard Malcolm – the Night Strangler! I was thrilled to get him – and found out I can get Kolchak and his first enemy – vampire Janos Skorzeny through mail order – if I ever have money again!
We had originally planned to stay through the tail end of the show – 5pm Sunday – and had even discussed staying in Charlotte after the MMP to attend the one night only screening of Compound Fracture that Tyler Mane was going to be hosting - but Ray needed to get back to Wilmington around 6 or so – and it was a four hour drive. So we had adjusted to leaving at 2pm and skipping Compound Fracture – but at 1:30pm I had literally ONE DOLLAR left in my wallet. (I will never say how many dollars were in there when I started). So, we packed it up and headed home.
|This time we drove from A to B.|
It was a HELL of a weekend – truly a blast and I definitely want to do it again next year! In the meantime - I might do a third post - and put up some more pictures of the swag and booty I brought home from the show - but that's going to have to wait a bit - as tomorrow begins my third annual April blogfest - the April 2013 A-Z Blogging Challenge!
I am going with a theme - which you can see tomorrow - and I'll be posting every day of the month except Sundays covering the 26 letters of the alphabet. All the regular departments are going on hold - and will resume in May! Wish me luck, and until tomorrow's inaugural post in the challenge - you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!